Yesterday was one year anniversary as the Increments' employee (Increments is my current company).
Taking a look back on what I did in the past one year, though I can be proud of my achievements, I also must admit I could have done much better jobs.
As the first product manager, I introduced several PM methodologies like PRD (Product Requirements Document) as well as company-wide process including OKR (Objectives and Key Results). Now, we are using PRD for most projects and OKR has become the core of the company operations.
As the company is still small (i.e. only 20 employees in total as of Today), I also have worked with the management to accelerate hiring. Note that we are looking for passionate engineers! I have been also involved in many company management operations like strategy setting and PR.
In parallel with my company jobs, as an external adviser, I have been helping other startups for their product and engineering management. Though I had took the similar adviser role even before leaving Google, that was just the high level advice based on the guesses or impressions from the outside observer. However, now I have become the member of the inner-circle "startups", their situation is much like our situation. What I have learned from them are the things we need to worry about in the future and also the ones I can also share with other startups. To be honest, this is what I expected. I'm glad that I can have such valuable experiences which I couldn't experience before.
Like the adviser role, I have been working with those who are also interested in the product management in Japan to organize the PM community and host the very first product management conference in which more than 300 people joined. I personally think PMs help Japan. PM is one of core parts to make business or even country successful, I think. I'm happy to know that there are so many folks are like me in Japan.
On the other hand, I must admit that I could have done better jobs. What I produced as a PM in the past one year was too below than what I had expected.
I often recall what my friend said when I asked to give some advice on my resignation.
"Takuya, can you make bigger impact than what you could have done in Google?"
Now, I would say "Not yet". I can hardly say "Yes", honestly speaking.
But, this was only one year. This is just a beginning.
I am excited about what I can do in next one year and beyond.
Next year around the same time, please ask me "Have you made big impact?"
I promise that I can say "Yes" with confidence.
I'll keep working hard and smart to make our dreams come true. I am looking forward to seeing our future.